Are mailing lists good, bad or ugly?

It’s not uncommon for website or business owners, looking to increase traffic to their website or promote a specific product or campaign to consider sending out bulk emails or bulk SMS as a means of reaching a greater audience.

One of our clients was even approached by someone who said they could send out mail to a large number of email addresses for a fee. The problem with this approach is that the recipients on this list do not have a direct relationship with our client and sending a direct mail out to someone who has not subscribed to your mailing list could (would) be considered spam.

The first reason not to go the bulk email route, to people who don’t know you, is it might alienate them from your brand. You want to put your message in front of people who want to see it or products like it and who are in a positive frame of mind when viewing your mail. There are companies that specialise in building these types of open relationships with users and it is advisable to consider partnering with one of them when attempting to enter the email marketing space. Once you’ve built a personal relationship with these users you can then engage with them on a more personal level directly.

The second and probably more critical point to consider is that sending out unsolicited emails may result in legal issues for your business.